There comes a time when a barn has to be torn down. It is not something that most farmers or landowners look forward to but it has to be done. This is not a decision that is entered into lightly as barns are a symbol of our agricultural heritage and are Americana at its finest. That is part of the reason why thousands of barns that dot our highways and byways are in a state of disrepair. For anyone who has a barn like this on their property you could be sitting on some cash and removing that barn could pay for itself.
In most cases there is little regulation on the books regarding barns. Unless the barn is close to a road and poses a hazard to the populace the landowner can basically do what they want with the barn. The condition of the barn can degrade to the point where a swift gust of wind can knock it over. Unlike houses most landowners choose not to renovate a barn and it is an expensive proposition.
If a landowner does not want to wait for nature to take its course and wants to get rid of a barn they basically have two options: demolition or a dismantling. Demolition is quicker but leaves nothing to be reused. Dismantling is slower but usable wood can be acquired to be used as reclaimed wood to make anything from musical instruments to furniture to the antique hardwood floors that Aged Woods makes.
It all sounds so simple but it is not. Insurance can help to pay for the cost of removing a barn but sometimes it will not and that can lead to an expensive bill. Also few demolition contractors will dismantle a barn so finding one that will can be difficult. Heavy equipment is required and the experience to operate that does not come cheap. If they do dismantle it they may leave the landowner the job of selling the wood which is not something that most people have experience with. Not all of the wood is usable so even if a buyer is found not all of the wood will be removed. All told it can take up to 7 days to dismantle a barn and remove the wood and that is seven days of labor and the noise that comes with it.
So why not just demolish the barn and be done with it? What a landowner can get out of their barn’s wood can vary. There is no set market and most often the amount is what the buyer is willing to pay for it making any sale hard to forecast. The value of the wood also cannot be determined until it is on the ground but if the wood is usable for reclaimed wood it could be worth a lot of money. The ballpark figure is that reclaimed wood that is over 100 years old can be sold for 5 times the value of what can be found in a home improvement store. This depends on the climate, condition and species of wood and that could be quite lucrative.
The cost to demolish a barn is about $7,000 and up but this too can vary depending on location, the size of the barn and many other factors. That is a large amount of cash but selling the good wood that is recovered can greatly help to recoup much of that money. A land owner also has to consider other costs like insurance and property values. Removing a barn that is dilapidated reduces the liability on the property and lowers premiums. It also raises property value removing an eyesore and boosts curb appeal. With the land now reopened a new building can be built or used for something productive. These factors also help a landowner recoup the costs of demolition and put cash back into their pocket.
If you own or are considering reclaimed hardwood flooring then you are part of the solution. You have helped a landowner remove a barn and also by doing so you have helped to save the environment by using reclaimed wood. The product that you have is far superior to what you can get from a home improvement store and you are giving that wood a second life. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. You can’t say that about too many things.